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Tropics Island Grill & Ale House

3590 Carson Road, Suite B, Camino, 530-303-3942,

For those looking to imbibe with aloha vibes in mountain territory, Tropics Island Grill & Ale House will deliver. The locale sits conveniently off Highway 50, making it the perfect pit stop for anyone heading to (or returning from) a day of play in Apple Hill or Tahoe. Better bring your appetite for this one—portions are huge, and the flavors will provoke you to finish every bite.

Tropics Island Grill originally started on O’ahu and is now led by Hawaiian native father/daughter duo.  Jaysah, the daughter, outlined the menu for me, which was designed by her and her father, David, to include both family recipes and Hawaiian staples.

Tropics Island Grill & Ale House


First on my list was the poke nachos. Delivered at lightning speed on a massive tray, they included a generous amount of raw tuna and beautiful drizzles of wasabi aioli and unagi sauce.  Jaysah mentioned this as being one of her favorites—and a best-seller—and I can easily understand why. The crispy wontons; the mix of sweet, savory, and aromatic flavors; and freshly cubed ahi...what’s not to love?

BBQ Kalua Pork Sandwich


Reminiscing on the year I spent in Hawaii as a kid, the BBQ kalua pork sandwich seemed like a must—knowing firsthand how delicious it would likely be. I was reassured when Jaysah mentioned that in the year since opening it’s become one of the restaurant’s most popular plates. The heaping helping of BBQ pork flowed out from a beautifully toasted brioche bun beside a colossal serving of French fries and house-made porter ketchup. The pork was everything I imagined it would be while the fries exceeded all expectations.

Mauka to Makai Tacos


Next up was the mauka to makai (from the mountains to the sea) tacos with my pick of protein (blackened shrimp) plus shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and either caper dill aioli or chipotle aioli. Absolutely no qualms here, but next time I’ll go with the classic blackened ahi; the shrimp was tasty, but after the poke nachos I was craving even more ahi. On second thought, next time I might also order the loco moco, spam musubi, and  teriyaki chicken, all dishes that come highly recommended from Jaysah.

Poke Nachos


I was stoked to see a huge selection of local craft beers, mimosas, and wine on the menu—perfect for enjoying on their spacious outdoor patio.

The genuinely friendly vibes and tasty menu make it clear why Tropics is fast becoming a beloved business in the Camino community—and why I won’t hesitate to make a detour the next time I’m in the area. 

Spam Musubi


Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. (Sunday); 9 a.m.-7 pm. (Monday-Thursday); 9 a.m.-8 p.m. (Friday-Saturday)
TRY THIS: Loco Moco, Spam Musubi, Poke Nachos, Lava Chicken Sandwich, Hawaiian Mixed Plate, BBQ Kalua Pork Sandwich, Mauka to Makai Tacos, POG Mimosa
DRINKS: Beer & wine
TAB: $$
HEADS-UP: Open for breakfast daily from 9-11 a.m.; happy hour (includes discounts on food and drinks) available Monday-Thursday from 3-5 p.m.; kids’ menu; three big-screen TVs; sauces (ranch, ketchup, etc.) are made in-house; spacious, dog-friendly patio

by Ryan Martinez  |  photos by TAYLOR ALLRED

Photos by Taylor Allred © and wholly owned by Style Media Group—please don’t steal our copyrighted photos. For more information about our editorial photos, please click here to contact us